There are lots of reasons bodyweight training and cardio go hand in hand. The flexibility of this form of exercise makes it fun, functional and effective. Plus, if you choose the right exercises, you can blast through hundreds of calories per day and fire up your cardiovascular fitness. In this article I’ll be discussing why bodyweight training is such a good cardio option and listing some of the top bodyweight cardio exercises.
The Benefits Of Bodyweight Cardio Training
Bodyweight cardio training has many plus points and I have listed these below:
- Fun: If you find running on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary exercise bike boring but still want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, bodyweight training is a great choice. Bodyweight workouts are fast, fun and challenging and one of the most enjoyable ways to boost your cardiovascular fitness.
- Flexible: Bodyweight cardio workouts can be performed anytime, anywhere and for as long or as little as you like. No matter where you are or how much time you have to spare, you can always use bodyweight exercises to get in a cardio workout.
- Scalable: Bodyweight cardio workouts are very easy to scale and can be adapted as your cardiovascular fitness improves. When you’re just starting out, you can perform the bodyweight exercises at a slow, steady pace and complete a small number of reps. Then as your cardiovascular fitness improves, you can start to increase the speed at which you perform the bodyweight exercises and increase your total number of reps.
- Low Impact: Certain cardiovascular exercises (such as dancing and jogging) place a large amount of pressure on your joints which then leads to pain, redness and swelling. However, bodyweight cardio exercises are very low impact and allow you to improve your cardiovascular fitness without experiencing any joint problems.
Creating A Bodyweight Cardio Routine
Putting together a bodyweight cardio routine is relatively simple and I have listed exactly how to do it in the section below:
- Decide How Long You’re Going To Workout: The first thing you need to decide when formulating a bodyweight cardio routine is how long you can workout for. This can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour, so simply pick a duration that suits you best.
- Decide How Much Rest You’ll Need: After you’ve decided on your total workout duration, you then need to choose how much rest you’ll need. This will depend on both how long you’re working out and your current fitness levels. For example, if you’re doing a 5 minute workout, you probably won’t need any rest periods. However, if you’re exercising for a full hour, you’ll probably want 5-10 minutes rest during the workout.
- Calculate Your Total Active Workout Time: Once you’ve completed the two steps above, you then need to calculate your total active workout time. To do this, simply subtract your rest time from your workout duration. For example, if you’re working out for 1 hour and having 10 minutes of rest, your total active workout time is 50 minutes.
- Choose Some Bodyweight Cardio Exercises You Enjoy: There are hundreds of different bodyweight cardio exercises you can choose from including burpees, mountain climbers, step ups and squat jumps. This article is a great starting point and highlights 35 of the most popular bodyweight cardio exercises. Simply give them a try and choose 5-10 of the bodyweight cardio exercises that you like best.
- Distribute Your Total Active Workout Time: After you’ve calculated your total active workout time and chosen your exercises, the next task is to distribute this time amongst the exercises. For example, if you chose five cardio exercises and your total active workout time is 50 minutes, then you’ll be doing 10 minutes per exercise.
- Distribute Your Rest Time: Once you’ve distributed your total active workout time, your final task is to distribute your rest time. How you distribute your rest time will depend on your personal preferences and the total amount of rest time you have chosen. For example, if you’re working out for 1 hour and having 10 minutes of rest, you can have two 5 minute rest periods at 20 minute intervals or five 2 minute rest periods at 10 minute intervals.
If you’re trying to fire up your cardiovascular fitness, bodyweight training can help. Just a few minutes each day is all you need to get a sweat on, get your blood flowing, blast through body fat and improve your cardiovascular fitness. So go ahead and start formulating your personalized bodyweight cardio workout today.